Halfway Mark!

It’s been five weeks here and, man, have I learned so much! First, not every group of kids is the same. We’ve been teaching the same material to different students weekly, and what works one week may not work the next week, which forces us to find different ways to explain the curriculum. 

We have a three-week gap in between camps, so these next few blogs won’t focus around too much camp stuff. This past week we got the chance to debrief on camp and discuss any changes we can possibly do to make any improvements to the camp, clean up any messes we left, and check inventory. But, of course, this will always be an ongoing project. One project I dedicated my time to was preparing supplies for a “friends talk” hosted by The Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds (our Friends group).

A Mosaics in Science intern from the past, Ricardo Escobar, came back to his old stomping grounds and lead the Friends talk. He used some of his old camp activities that he planned, and the adults absolutely loved the activities! The participants got to paint their own geologic map, learn about earth’s layers with Play-Doh, rock cycle with sugar cubes, plate tectonics, and dig up their own fossils from shale that was brought from the Fossil Quarry. This experience was great for me to see, watching the one who had planned this activity run it, and to see what would work better for when we have the kids back in the park.

To make the end of this week even greater, Environment for the Americas is taking some of its interns on a weekend camping trip to the Black Hills, South Dakota! This summer alone, all thanks to my internship, I have traveled to six different states! Our first adventure on Friday afternoon was a stop at Jewel Cave National Monument. It is a limestone cave that is covered in calcite spars (crystals), flowstone, draperies, boxwork and, my favorite, cave bacon! All the wonderful cave formations are formed by water running in the cave and dissolving the calcite from the limestone to form these formations. On Saturday, we started the day with Wind Cave National Park. It has a similar formation to Jewel Cave, but instead this cave has more boxwork, another calcite formation, than calcite spars. At Wind Cave, I became a Junior Ranger! We ate lunch and explored the town of Hot Springs, South Dakota, then drank from their mineral springs before heading off to Mount Rushmore. Even though it rained on us while outside at Mount Rushmore, it was still a sight to see! Learning about the history of how the memorial was formed was simply incredible! The Junior Ranger book was a bit more challenging than at Wind Cave, but it was great learning from it.

I really do not want this internship to be over; I feel like I am in a working paradise environment. Thank you for reading!

In the picture below from left to right is me, Maaz Fareedi, Mosaics in Science intern at Jewel Cave National Monument, Alliyah Gifford Mosaics in Science intern at Rocky Mountain National Park, and Tangy Wiseman, Latino Heritage Internship Program intern at the Intermountain Regional Office in Denver, Colorado.

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